The LTTE has received $ I mn from Raj Rajaratnam, founder of the Galleon Group hedge fund after it victory at Elephant Pass in April 2002. In spite of the US proscribing the LTTE in 1997, Rajaratnam had invested LTTE funds raised abroad in the hedge fund.
“… a few were aware within the Tamil community that Rajaratnam apparently had given the Tamil cause at least $1 million in recognition of the Tamil victory in 2000 over the Sri Lankan army at the strategic Elephant Pass, which controls access to Sri Lankanorthern peninsula, where ethnic Tamils are concentrated,” Vanity Fair’s David Rose revealed in a web exclusive dated Sept. 30, 2011.
Captioned ‘Crouching Tiger, Hidden Raj’, the report exposed Rajaratnam’s LTTE links on the basis of an interview with a former FBI agent, who had infiltrated an LTTE event in Nov. 2000 at the Doubletree hotel in Somerset, New Jersey, where Rajaratnam addressed about 400 persons.
Earlier this year, Rajaratnam, was convicted of conspiracy and securities fraud in one of the biggest insider-trading cases in the history of Wall Street.
Rose alleged that many of those who funded the LTTE were eminently respectable, and worked in America, Canada, Australia, and Europe in professions such as medicine and the law. Rose quoted the FBI informant as having said Rajaratnam got up and, flanked by L.T.T.E. flags, he said, ‘Everyone must support the Tigers’ cause. Rajaratnam said his wife was an Indian Sikh [a minority group from which some had also mounted a terrorist campaign aimed at creating a separate state]. Rajaratnam said: ‘They’re terrorists. We’re terrorists. We are all freedom fighters.’ Everyone laughed. Then he added: ‘They’re our terrorists, and you all must support this struggle.'”
In May 2011, Raj Rajaratnam was convicted in New York on 14 counts of conspiracy and securities fraud in one of the biggest hedge-fund insider-trading cases in the history of Wall Street. The trial revealed how Rajaratnam developed a web of corrupt relationships and paid millions of dollars for insider tips that enabled him to beat the market time and again. But throughout the two-month hearing, prosecutors said nothing about one of the uses to which Rajaratnam allegedly put his criminally acquired fortune-funding Tamil terrorism.
The FBI informant had been to the Vanni in August 2003 during the Norwegian arranged ceasefire agreement between the then Premier Ranil Wickremesinghe’s government and the LTTE. Describing the Vanni as the fortress housing 300,000 people, Rose quoted the FBI informant as having said that Vanni had underground bunkers for advanced computers and communications equipment as well as two fully equipped subterranean hospitals. There Rudra met most of the Tamil Tigers’ senior leadership, wearing a concealed F.B.I. wire all the while.
Rajaratnam made an attempt to fund LTTE rehabilitation project a few years ago, though it never materialized.
According to the FBI informant, the F.B.I. had acquired a comprehensive picture of the group’s fund-raising capability. Raj Rajaratnam’s name came up frequently. “On the recordings, he was spoken of in a reverential way, with all the kudos he got as a financial whizz,” Rose quoted an FBI official as having said. The US investigation also revealed that the LTTE had invested heavily its own funds in the Galleon fund.